Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Darwin Botanic Gardens

George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens was my first birding walk in the NT. It was a perfect day for it at 30C and not too humid. Just at the entrance to the gardens were some large fruiting figs that had attracted a noisy crowd of figbirds, while on the other side of the path a tree with both fruit and flowers was buzzing with honeyeaters, bee-eaters and cuckoo-shrikes. Scrub fowl were scratching in the leaf litter under the trees.

In the woodland area, flowering eucalypts had attracted good numbers of birds and the ever-present kites soared overhead. I followed the sound of red-tailed black cockatoos, but they flew into the distance before I was in photography range. Galahs were more obliging flying in to feed in the grass.

I wandered the shade garden and rainforest loop looking for the rufous owl, and had the good luck to find them roosting immediately over the path, their droppings an unmissable signpost to them. With them sitting high in a dense tree, still and silent, I would have had no chance of seeing them if they had been even a couple of meters off to the side. The cycad garden yielded more honeyeaters, including two duskies.
Bird List:
Rufous Owl Ninox rufa (pictured above)
Orange-footed Scrubfowl Megapodius reinwardt
Straw-necked Ibis Threskiornis spinicollis
Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca
Black Kite Milvus migrans
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
Feral Pigeon Columba livia
Bar-shouldered Dove Geopelia humeralis
Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii
Galah Cacatua roseicapilla
Red-collared Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus
Forest Kingfisher Todiramphus macleayii
Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus
Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus
Little Friarbird Philemon citreogularis
Silver-crowned Friarbird Philemon argenticeps
White-gaped Honeyeater Lichenostomus unicolor
White-throated Honeyeater Melithreptus albogularis
Rufous-banded Honeyeater Conopophila albogularis
Dusky Honeyeater Myzomela obscura
Brown Honeyeater Lichmera indistincta
Magpie Lark Grallina cyanoleuca
White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina papuensis
Varied Triller Lalage leucomela
Yellow Oriole Oriolus flavocinctus
Australian Figbird Sphecotheres vieilloti
Double-barred Finch Taeniopygia bichenovii
Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirundinaceum

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